The species which populate Greenland are adapted to extreme conditions (sub-zero temperatures, extended periods of light and darkness, and such). There are few endemic species in Greenland, although there is relatively high overall diversity. The reason for this is that most of the species that are present in Greenland today are currently thought to have come to the island at the end of the last ice age and are thus similar to those found throughout the rest of the Arctic.
The waters around Greenland are fairly rich in benthic fauna due to the fact that organic matter decomposes very slowly and is deposited in large quantities on the ocean floor. Crustaceans are an important element of Greenland’s marine ecosystems. The famous Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and the Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus) feed exclusively on crustaceans and other planktonic organisms. While hosting other whales and numerous seals, that are the main prey of the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), Greenland’s waters are also important breeding and wintering areas for a large variety of sea birds. Read more